|Name, symbol, number||lead, Pb, 82|
|Element category||post-transition metal|
|Group, period, block||14, 6, p|
|Standard atomic weight||207.2 g·mol−1|
|Electron configuration||[Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s2 6p2|
|Electrons per shell||2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 4 (Image)|
|Density (near r.t.)||11.34 g·cm−3|
|Liquid density at m.p.||10.66 g·cm−3|
|Melting point||600.61 K, 327.46 °C, 621.43 °F|
|Boiling point||2022 K, 1749 °C, 3180 °F|
|Heat of fusion||4.77 kJ·mol−1|
|Heat of vaporization||179.5 kJ·mol−1|
|Specific heat capacity||(25 °C) 26.650 J·mol−1·K−1|
|Oxidation states||4, 2, -4 (Amphoteric oxide)|
|Electronegativity||2.33 (Pauling scale)|
|Ionization energies||1st: 715.6 kJ·mol−1|
|2nd: 1450.5 kJ·mol−1|
|3rd: 3081.5 kJ·mol−1|
|Atomic radius||175 pm|
|Covalent radius||146±5 pm|
|Van der Waals radius||202 pm|
|Crystal structure||face-centered cubic|
|Electrical resistivity||(20 °C) 208 nΩ·m|
|Thermal conductivity||(300 K) 35.3 W·m−1·K−1|
|Thermal expansion||(25 °C) 28.9 µm·m−1·K−1|
|Young's modulus||16 GPa|
|Shear modulus||5.6 GPa|
|Bulk modulus||46 GPa|
|Brinell hardness||38.3 MPa|
|CAS registry number||7439-92-1|
|Most stable isotopes|
|Main article: Isotopes of lead|
Lead (pronounced /ˈlɛd/, led) is a main-group element with symbol Pb (Latin: plumbum) and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal, also considered to be one of the heavy metals. Lead has a bluish-white color when freshly cut, but tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed to air. It has a shiny chrome-silver luster when melted into a liquid.
Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shot, weights, and is part of solder, pewter, fusible alloys and radiation shields. Lead has the highest atomic number of all stable elements, although the next element, bismuth, has a half-life so long (longer than the estimated age of the universe) it can be considered stable.
Lead is a poisonous metal that can damage nervous connections (especially in young children) and cause blood and brain disorders. Like mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time. Lead poisoning was documented in ancient Rome, ancient Greece, and ancient China.
Lead is bright and silvery when freshly cut but the surface rapidly tarnishes in air to produce the more commonly observed dull luster normally associated with lead. It is a dense, ductile, very soft, highly malleable, bluish-white metal that has poor electrical conductivity. This true metal is highly resistant to corrosion, and because of this property, it is used to contain corrosive liquids (e.g., sulfuric acid). Because lead is very malleable and resistant to corrosion it is extensively used in building construction, e.g., external coverings of roofing joints. Lead can be toughened by addition of a small amount of antimony or other metals. All lead, except 204Pb, is the end product of a complex radioactive decay. Lead is also poisonous, as are its compounds.
Lead has many isotopes but 4 stable ones. The 4 stable isotopes are204Pb, 206Pb, 207Pb and 208Pb with 204Pb regarded as primordial lead and 206, 207, 208 are formed from decay of uranium and thorium. The one common radiogenic isotope, 202Pb, has a half-life of approximately 53,000 years.
Various oxidized forms of lead are easily reduced to the metal. An example is heating PbO with mild organic reducing agents such as glucose. A mixture of the oxide and the sulfide heated together without any reducing agent will also form the metal.
Metallic lead is attacked only superficially by air, forming a thin layer of oxide that protects it from further oxidation. The metal is not attacked by sulfuric or hydrochloric acids. It does, however, dissolve in nitric acid with the evolution of nitric oxide gas to form dissolved Pb(NO3)2.
When heated with nitrates of alkali metals, metallic lead oxidizes to form PbO (also known as litharge), leaving the corresponding alkali nitrite. PbO is representative of lead's +2 oxidation state. It is soluble in nitric and acetic acids, from which solutions it is possible to precipitate halide, sulfate, chromate, carbonate (PbCO3), and basic carbonate (Pb3(OH)2(CO3)2) salts of lead. The sulfide can also be precipitated from acetate solutions. These salts are all poorly soluble in water. Among the halides, the iodide is less soluble than the bromide, which, in turn, is less soluble than the chloride.
Chlorination of plumbite solutions causes the formation of lead's +4 oxidation state.
Lead dioxide is representative of the +4 oxidation state, and is a powerful oxidizing agent. The chloride of this oxidation state is formed only with difficulty and decomposes readily into lead(II) chloride and chlorine gas. The bromide and iodide of lead(IV) are not known to exist. Lead dioxide dissolves in alkali hydroxide solutions to form the corresponding plumbates.
Lead also has an oxide with mixed +2 and +4 oxidation states, red lead (Pb3O4), also known as minium.
|Pb2+ + Cl− → PbCl+||K1 = 12.59|
|PbCl+ + Cl− → PbCl2||K2 = 14.45|
|PbCl2 + Cl− → PbCl3−||K3 = 3.98 ×10−1|
|PbCl3− + Cl− → PbCl42−||K4 = 8.92 × 10−2|
Lead(II) sulfate is poorly soluble, as can be seen in the following diagram showing addition of SO42− to a solution containing 0.1M of Pb2+. The pH of the solution is 4.5, as above that, Pb2+ concentration can never reach 0.1M due to the formation of Pb(OH)2. Observe that Pb2+ solubility drops 10,000 fold as SO42− reaches 0.1M.
Here it can be seen that the addition of chloride can lower the solubility of lead, however in chloride rich media (such as aqua regia) the lead can become soluble again as anionic chlorocomplexes.
Diagram showing the solubility of lead in chloride media. The lead concentrations are plotted as a function of the total chloride present.
Lead has been commonly used for thousands of years because it is widespread, easy to extract and easy to work with. It is highly malleable and ductile as well as easy to smelt. Metallic lead beads dating back to 6400 BC have been found in Çatalhöyük in modern-day Turkey. In the early Bronze Age, lead was used with antimony and arsenic. Lead is mentioned in the Book of Exodus (15:10).
In alchemy, lead was thought to be the oldest metal and was associated with the planet Saturn. Lead pipes that bear the insignia of Roman emperors are still in service and many Roman "pigs" (ingots) of lead figure in Derbyshire lead mining history and in the history of the industry in other English centers. The Romans also used lead in molten form to secure iron pins that held together large limestone blocks in certain monumental buildings. Lead's symbol Pb is an abbreviation of its Latin name plumbum for soft metals; originally it was plumbum nigrum (literally, "black plumbum"), where plumbum candidum (literally, "bright plumbum") was tin. The English words "plumbing", "plumber", "plumb", and "plumb-bob" also derive from this Latin root.
Metallic lead does occur in nature, but it is rare. Lead is usually found in ore with zinc, silver and (most abundantly) copper, and is extracted together with these metals. The main lead mineral is galena (PbS), which contains 86.6% lead. Other common varieties are cerussite (PbCO3) and anglesite (PbSO4).
Most ores contain less than 10% lead, and ores containing as little as 3% lead can be economically exploited. Ores are crushed and concentrated by froth flotation typically to 70% or more. Sulfide ores are roasted, producing primarily lead oxide and a mixture of sulfates and silicates of lead and other metals contained in the ore.
Lead oxide from the roasting process is reduced in a coke-fired blast furnace. This converts most of the lead to its metallic form. Three additional layers separate in the process and float to the top of the metallic lead. These are slag (silicates containing 1.5% lead), matte (sulfides containing 15% lead), and speiss (arsenides of iron and copper). These wastes contain concentrations of copper, zinc, cadmium, and bismuth that can be recovered economically, as can their content of unreduced lead.
Metallic lead that results from the roasting and blast furnace processes still contains significant contaminants of arsenic, antimony, bismuth, zinc, copper, silver, and gold. The melt is treated in a reverberatory furnace with air, steam, and sulfur, which oxidizes the contaminants except silver, gold, and bismuth. The oxidized contaminants are removed by drossing, where they float to the top and are skimmed off.
Most lead ores contain significant concentrations of silver, resulting in the smelted metal also containing silver as a contaminant. Metallic silver as well as gold is removed and recovered economically by means of the Parkes process.
Very pure lead can be obtained by processing smelted lead electrolytically by means of the Betts process. The process uses anodes of impure lead and cathodes of pure lead in an electrolyte of silica fluoride.
Production and consumption of lead is increasing worldwide. Total annual production is about 8 million tonnes; about half is produced from recycled scrap. The top lead producing countries, as of 2008, are Australia, China, USA, Peru, Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Morocco, South Africa and North Korea. Australia, China and the United States account for more than half of primary production.
At current use rates, the supply of lead is estimated to run out in 42 years. Environmental analyst, Lester Brown, however, has suggested lead could run out within 18 years based on an extrapolation of 2% growth per year. This may need to be reviewed to take account of renewed interest in recycling, and rapid progress in fuel cell technology.
Because of its high density and resistance against corrosion, lead is used for the ballast keel of sailboats. Its high density allows it to counterbalance the heeling effect of wind on the sails while at the same time occupying a small volume and thus offering the least underwater resistance. For the same reason its is used in scuba diving weight belts to counteract the diver's natural buoyancy and that of his equipment. It does not have the weight-to-volume ratio of many heavy metals, but its low cost increases its use in these and other applications.
Contrary to popular belief, pencil leads in wooden pencils have never been made from lead. The term comes from the Roman stylus, called the penicillus, which was made of lead without a wooden holder. When the pencil originated as a wrapped graphite writing tool, the particular type of graphite being used was named plumbago (lit. act for lead, or lead mockup).
Lead is a poisonous metal that can damage nervous connections (especially in young children) and cause blood and brain disorders. Lead poisoning typically results from ingestion of food or water contaminated with lead; but may also occur after accidental ingestion of contaminated soil, dust, or lead based paint. Long-term exposure to lead or its salts (especially soluble salts or the strong oxidant PbO2) can cause nephropathy, and colic-like abdominal pains. The effects of lead are the same whether it enters the body through breathing or swallowing. Lead can affect almost every organ and system in the body. The main target for lead toxicity is the nervous system, both in adults and children. Long-term exposure of adults can result in decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system. It may also cause weakness in fingers, wrists, or ankles. Lead exposure also causes small increases in blood pressure, particularly in middle-aged and older people and can cause anemia. Exposure to high lead levels can severely damage the brain and kidneys in adults or children and ultimately cause death. In pregnant women, high levels of exposure to lead may cause miscarriage. Chronic, high-level exposure have shown to reduce fertility in males. The antidote/treatment for lead poisoning consists of dimercaprol and succimer.
The concern about lead's role in cognitive deficits in children has brought about widespread reduction in its use (lead exposure has been linked to learning disabilities). Most cases of adult elevated blood lead levels are workplace-related. High blood levels are associated with delayed puberty in girls. Lead has been shown many times to permanently reduce the cognitive capacity of children at extremely low levels of exposure. There appears to be no detectable lower limit below which lead has no effect on cognition.
During the 20th century, the use of lead in paint pigments was sharply reduced because of the danger of lead poisoning, especially to children. By the mid-1980s, a significant shift in lead end-use patterns had taken place. Much of this shift was a result of the U.S. lead consumers' compliance with environmental regulations that significantly reduced or eliminated the use of lead in non-battery products, including gasoline, paints, solders, and water systems. Lead use is being further curtailed by the European Union's RoHS directive. Lead may still be found in harmful quantities in stoneware, vinyl (such as that used for tubing and the insulation of electrical cords), and brass manufactured in China. Between 2006 and 2007 many children's toys made in China were recalled, primarily due to lead in paint used to color the product.
Older houses may still contain substantial amounts of lead paint. White lead paint has been withdrawn from sale in industrialized countries, but the yellow lead chromate is still in use; for example, Holland Colours Holcolan Yellow. Old paint should not be stripped by sanding, as this produces inhalable dust.
Lead salts used in pottery glazes have on occasion caused poisoning, when acidic drinks, such as fruit juices, have leached lead ions out of the glaze. It has been suggested that what was known as "Devon colic" arose from the use of lead-lined presses to extract apple juice in the manufacture of cider. Lead is considered to be particularly harmful for women's ability to reproduce. Lead(II) acetate (also known as sugar of lead) was used by the Roman Empire as a sweetener for wine, and some consider this to be the cause of the dementia that affected many of the Roman Emperors.
Lead as a soil contaminant is a widespread issue, since lead is present in natural deposits and may also enter soil through (leaded) gasoline leaks from underground storage tanks or through a wastestream of lead paint or lead grindings from certain industrial operations.
Lead can also be found listed as a criteria pollutant in the United States Clean Air Act section 108. Lead that is emitted into the atmosphere can be inhaled, or it can be ingested after it settles out of the air. It is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and is believed to have adverse effects on the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, kidneys, and the immune system.
In the human body, lead inhibits porphobilinogen synthase and ferrochelatase, preventing both porphobilinogen formation and the incorporation of iron into protoporphyrin IX, the final step in heme synthesis. This causes ineffective heme synthesis and subsequent microcytic anemia. At lower levels, it acts as a calcium analog, interfering with ion channels during nerve conduction. This is one of the mechanisms by which it interferes with cognition. Acute lead poisoning is treated using disodium calcium edetate: the calcium chelate of the disodium salt of ethylene-diamine-tetracetic acid (EDTA). This chelating agent has a greater affinity for lead than for calcium and so the lead chelate is formed by exchange. This is then excreted in the urine leaving behind harmless calcium.
It is clear from the Pourbaix diagram below that lead is more likely to corrode in a citrate medium than it is in a non-complexing medium. The central part of the diagram shows that lead metal oxidizes more easily in the citrate medium than in normal water.
In a Pourbaix diagram, the acidity is plotted on the x axis using the pH scale, while how oxidizing/reducing nature of the system is plotted on the y axis in terms of volts relative to the standard hydrogen electrode. The diagram shows the form of the element which is most chemically stable at each point, it only comments on thermodynamics and it says nothing about the rate of change (kinetics).
Exposure to lead and lead chemicals can occur through inhalation, ingestion and dermal contact. Most exposure occurs through ingestion or inhalation; in the U.S. the skin exposure is unlikely as leaded gasoline additives are no longer used. Lead exposure is a global issue as lead mining and lead smelting are common in many countries. Most countries have stopped using lead-containing gasoline by 2007.
Lead exposure mostly occurs through ingestion. Lead paint is the major source of lead exposure for children. As lead paint deteriorates, it peels, pulverizes and then enters the body through hand-to-mouth contacts or through contaminated food, water or alcohol. Ingesting certain home remedy medicines may also expose people to lead or lead compounds. Lead can be ingested through fruits and vegetables contaminated by the high levels of lead in the soils. Soil is contaminated due to the lead in pipes, lead dust from old paints and residual lead from gasoline with lead that was used before the Environment Protection Agency issue the regulation around 1980.
Inhalation is the second major pathway of exposure, especially for workers in lead-related occupations. Almost all inhaled lead is absorbed into the body, the rate is 20-70% for ingested lead; children absorb more than adults.
Dermal exposure may be significant for a narrow category of people working with organic lead compounds, but is of little concern for general population. The rate of skin absorption is also low for inorganic lead.
Lead remains in the body for long periods in mineralizing tissue (i.e., teeth and bones). The stored lead may be released into the bloodstream, especially in times of calcium stress (e.g., pregnancy, lactation, osteoporosis), or calcium deficiency, and is of particular risk to the developing fetus.
It is widely used in the production of batteries, metal products (solder and pipes), ammunition and devices to shield X-rays leading to its exposure to the people working in these industries. Use of lead in gasoline, paints and ceramic products, caulking, and pipe solder has been dramatically reduced in recent years because of health concerns. Ingestion of contaminated food and drinking water is the most common source of lead exposure in humans. Exposure can also occur via inadvertent ingestion of contaminated soil/dust or lead-based paint.
Water contamination can be tested with commercially available kits. Analysis of lead in whole blood is the most common and accurate method of assessing lead exposure in human. Erythrocyte protoporphyrin (EP) tests can also be used to measure lead exposure, but are not as sensitive at low blood lead levels (<0.2 mg/L). Lead in blood reflects recent exposure. Bone lead measurements are an indicator of cumulative exposure. While measurements of urinary lead levels and hair have been used to assess lead exposure, they are not reliable.
The current reference range for acceptable blood lead concentrations in healthy persons without excessive exposure to environmental sources of lead is less than 10 µg/dL for children and less than 25 µg/dL for adults. Blood lead concentrations in poisoning victims have ranged from 30->80 µg/dL in children exposed to lead paint in older houses, 77-104 µg/dL in persons working with pottery glazes, 90-137 µg/dL in individuals consuming contaminated herbal medicines, 109-139 µg/dL in indoor shooting range instructors and as high as 330 µg/dL in those drinking fruit juices from glazed earthenware containers.
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Lead (pronounce: "led") is a chemical element. Its chemical symbol is Pb, which comes from plumbum, the Latin word for lead. Its atomic number is 82, atomic mass is 207.2 and has a melting point of 327.8°C. It is a very poisonous and heavy metal.
Lead is a shiny, gray-blue poor metal. It gets tarnished easily to a dull gray color. It is soft and malleable. It is very shiny when it is melted. It is very heavy. It is very corrosion-resistant. It is made stronger by adding antimony or calcium. It can form an alloy with sodium. It is toxic to people and animals.
Lead burns in air with a grayish-white flame, making toxic fumes of lead(II) oxide. Only the surface is corroded by air. It dissolves in nitric acid to make lead(II) nitrate. It does not dissolve in sulfuric or hydrochloric acid. It reacts with sodium nitrate to make lead(II) oxide and sodium nitrite. It reacts with chlorine to make lead(II) chloride. Lead(II) oxide reacts with lead sulfide to make lead metal and sulfur dioxide.
Lead makes chemical compounds in two main oxidation states: +2 and +4. +2 compounds, also known as lead(II) compounds or plumbous compounds, are weak oxidizing agents. +4 compounds, also known as lead(IV) compounds or plumbic compounds, are strong oxidizing agents. Lead compounds are toxic just like the element. The lead halides do not dissolve in water. Lead(IV) oxide is the most common lead(IV) compound. It is a black solid. The lead oxides are all colored, while the other salts are white or colorless. Lead nitrate and lead(II) acetate are the soluble compounds of lead.
Lead was used for thousands of years because it is easy to get from the ground and easy to shape and work with. The Romans used lead very commonly. They used it for pipes, drinking vessels, and fasteners.
Lead is made from galena. Galena is made pure by froth flotation to get all the impurities out. Then the lead sulfide is roasted in a furnace to make lead(II) oxide. The lead(II) oxide is heated with coke to make liquid lead metal.
Lead is used in the ballast of sailboats. It is also used in weight belts for scuba diving. It is also used to make shotgun pellets and bullets for small arms. Some printing presses use lead type because it can be easily shaped. It can be used outside because it does not corrode in water.
Most lead is used in lead acid batteries, though. The lead is oxidized, making electricity. Sheets of lead are used to block sound in some places. Lead is used in radiation shielding. Molten lead can be used as a coolant in nuclear reactors. It used to be mixed with tin to make the pipes in pipe organs. Different amounts of lead make different sounds.
It is used in some solder. It is used in covering for wires that carry high voltage. Some tennis rackets have lead in them to make them heavier. It is used to balance wheels of cars, to make statues, and to make decorative looks in buildings.
Many lead compounds are used to make colored glazes in ceramics. Lead can be used in PVC pipes. Lead compounds are added to candles to make them burn better. Lead glass has lead(II) oxide in it. Lead compounds are still used as pigments in some places. Lead compounds were added to gasoline, but are now outlawed. Some lead compounds are semiconductors and are used in photodetectors.
Lead was used in many red, yellow, and white pigments in paints. Lead was also used in pesticides. Lead used to be used in pipes carrying water, but now it is not because lead can leach into the water. Lead cannot be used for shotgun pellets anymore.
If one is exposed to lead for a long time, it ruins their kidneys and gives them abdominal pains. Lead also ruins the nervous system. Lead paint was being eaten by children and they were getting lead poisoning.